“It is terrible to have to ask for anything ever. We wish we were something that needed nothing, like paint. But even paint needs repainting.” - Miranda July
safety is a group exhibition about actively seeking contentment and in ascending towards needing nothing. Each work initiates its own dialogue with the viewer, asking, "What do I need?" and "Where can I find it?" These questions are not absolved, but the works show the process of navigating through excess, want and desire to find safety, security and self-fulfillment.
Everything is painted, safe for a time, waiting to become raw and exposed. Paint holds within its materiality a tendency towards concealment. Paint’s use as an industrial, domestic, and an artistic tool shows its historical versatility and its commonplace meaning. In a variety of ways, paint covers many things: our homes, our cars, and our faces. Covering ourselves, and our settings, with whatever materials we choose, completes us.
Rebecca Litt’s paintings consider the tentative relationship inherent between a person and his/her space. In each of the works on display, the figure and landscape are equally prominent. At times the physical world in which the figure stands is oppressively prominent, encroaching on the figures’ privacy. When the exigent barriers appear to be protective (police tape, wire fencing, traffic cones) the gauzy scene becomes more sinister. Rebecca received her MFA in painting from Indiana University in 2007. She lives and works in Brooklyn.
Timothy Dowse’s work examines the intersection of cartography, drawing and painting. Inconsistent and imperfect as the landscape is, cartographers attempt to scientifically recreate it through artistic methods and practices: drawing painting, photography and even sculpture. Through recreating a place on a two-dimensional plane, Tim dismisses science as an accurate mode of cartography and reimagines his surroundings as amorphous and charged; both real and imagined. Tim studied sculpture at the University of Minnesota and earned my MFA at Rutgers University in 2005. He grew up in Minnesota, but now lives and work in Brooklyn.
Michael Slagle reimagines cartography as an interpretation of physical and perceived space through deconstructing maps. Michael extracts a ten square block area from Google Maps and shreds it. Then, he reassembles the map in a painting. Every painted landscape appears to resemble an abstracted view of something slightly familiar, yet unknown. Deconstructed information as a theme in contemporary art allows the viewer to consider what information is intrinsic, absent and desired. Michael has worked as an artist for over ten years in Minnesota, New Jersey and New York, completing his MFA at Rutgers University in 2004. He grew up in Minnesota, but now lives and work in Brooklyn.
For over five years, Michelle Kim has worked with many notable Los Angeles-based ceramicists and sculptors such as Patsy Cox and Kim Abeles who have influenced her work. The piece, I’m Feeling It (2009), shows a face bathed in an enchanting memory. Lend You An Ear is an interactive element to the piece that encourages the viewer to write a note and insert it into the sculpture’s ear in exchange for an ear. The viewer should write something about his/herself. His/her note will be shared anonymously on Michelle’s website. In 2011, Michelle Kim received her Masters of Art in Ceramics and Public Art at California State University, Northridge.